2010 Porsche Boxster S Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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Not only does the second generation Porsche Boxster S serve up more power while delivering improved fuel economy, it also receives newly designed front panels featuring larger halogen headlamps with integrated directional signals and new rear panels featuring LED taillights. 

The basic powerplant for the Boxster is a 2.9-litre horizontally opposed ("flat") six-cylinder that delivers 255 horsepower, while the Boxster S is powered by a 3.4-litre flat six that cranks out 310 horsepower, benefiting from direct fuel injection.  Both engines mate to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) tranny, Porsche's new double-clutch automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and "Launch Control" feature.  When equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Plus Package, the Boxster S is capable of traveling from 0-100 km/h in a scant 4.9 seconds (5.1 seconds without the Sport Chrono Plus Package).  There is a base Sport Chrono Package as well as the Plus version, which is available exclusively in combination with Porsche's optional Porsche Communication Management system, offering an additional performance indicator with an individual memory function – ideally suited for on track race scenarios. 

A very worthwhile standard feature on the Boxster S is the "Start-Off Assistant" which prevents the car from rolling on a gradient, holding the car in position when the brake is released, allowing the driver to accelerate smoothly. 

The Boxster S rides on staggered 17-inch wheels, with the wider track and revised suspension tuning improving the car's overall driving dynamics.  Brakes are cross-drilled and vented, with Porsche's ceramic composite brakes available. 

The Boxster S is a two-seat roadster featuring a monocoque, hot-galvanized, lightweight steel body and a soft top with an interior lining that raises and lowers at the push of a button, after manually releasing the headliner latch.  An aluminum removable hardtop is optional. 
The external appearance of the Boxster S is clearly Porsche, with a low, sleek stance and curvaceous body panels that blend harmoniously in perfect proportion, with the top up or down. 

The interior is no less appealing, with switchgear optimally placed for ease of use by the driver.  Materials are of high quality, with fit and finish superbly executed. 

My test 2010 Porsche Boxster S came with the PDK gearbox, finished outside in Aqua Blue metallic and Metropol Blue top with the interior executed in a combination of Black and Stone Grey leather.  The base sticker reads $72,200 while options can elevate the final tally into the stratosphere.  Optional features and equipment on my tester included metallic paint and two-tone leather interior, PCM 3.0 with extended navigation, Bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic cornering feature, PDK transmission, heated front seats and steering wheel, 19-inch Carrera II alloy wheels, Porsche Active Stability Management, wind deflector, Bluetooth interface for mobile devices, Sport Chrono Package Plus, and the Bose audio upgrade.  Updates for this year include a three-spoke sports steering wheel as a standard feature on all Boxster variants.  New options include Dark Blue Metallic exterior paint and a heated steering wheel. 

Basically, the 2010 Porsche Boxster S represents a constant evolutionary process, with continual improvements not only in visual appeal, but in performance and efficiency as well.  A full complement of standard safety features and equipment are further enhanced by optionally available systems. 

The PDK gearbox seems to work best in the manual mode, reacting to driver actions without hesitation -- something the automatic mode failed to do on occasion, with a hiccup or stumbling sensation that took place intermittently.  I failed to encounter this in a PDK equipped 911 Carrera S earlier, so I have to think that an adjustment was in order for my particular test vehicle. 

Acceleration was PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick!), with outstanding braking qualities to offset rapid forward progress.  The handling characteristics were superb, with immediate response to driver input.  Seating was both comfortable and supportive in all driving scenarios. 

The Boxster is proof positive that a genuine sports car need not be spartan to be effective.  Admittedly, there were some features on my test car that I would be able to live without, particularly if racing competitively were on the agenda.  This latest iteration also provides more interior room than before making it even more pleasurable to drive.  It is a car that is at home on the road or on the track.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Roadster, Porsche, 2010, Boxster S, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: Porsche

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